Here is one of the most popular recipes The New York Times has ever published, courtesy of Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery. It requires no kneading. It uses no special ingredients, equipment or techniques. And it takes very little effort — only time. You will need 24 hours to create the bread, but much of this is unattended waiting, a slow fermentation of the dough that results in a perfect loaf.
Whole Wheat No-Knead Bread
Makes 1 loaf
Recipe from Mark Bittman & Jim Lahey via New York Times
- 3 cups Community Grains Hard Red Winter Wheat Whole Grain Flour
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast (or ¼ cup sourdough starter)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- Extra flour or polenta as needed
- In a large bowl combine flour, yeast (or starter) and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
- Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
- Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface, wet your hands, and gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Lightly oil a ceramic bowl, add your dough seam side down, cover with a cotton towel, and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will slowly spring back when poked with a finger.
- At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from oven. Line pot with parchment paper, or generously coat with flour or polenta. Flip dough into your pot seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack for at least 1-hour.